Thursday, 11 March 2010

My Age Does Not Make Me A Lonely Planet Hiking Bastard

It may come as a bit of a surprise, but rather than my vulgar language, inability to remember people's names, birthdays and significance to me, and my plain selfish ability to only write in first person as if I were telling stories to cross-legged and easily-influenced children; the thing I find myself gratuitously apologising for when I meet new people is my age. That number that hangs around my neck, ticking over slowly, with no real relevance to my life other than to remind me that in twenty years time I'll either be success or any children I may have popped out will have left me. My apology is often performed with a grimace, to show that errgh, yeah, it's a bit unfortunate really. Sorry about that. As if I'd cracked a particularly offensive joke at a mingling tiny-food-and-boring-chat party and later was introduced to a nice man who had indeed been incarcerated in a POW camp and the things I had said undid several decades worth of expensive and extensive hypnotherapy. Whoops, eesh, oh I am terribly sorry. Will an awkward facial expression and the knowledge that I'll be sleepless for 6 years about this horrifically embarrassing incident make you feel better?

I'm not sure how to rectify this situation, though. Apart from immersing myself in menial jobs and going travelling (or "travelling" as I like to knowingly call it, as I embark on another oh-so-exasperated rant about twat students and their twat trust funds and their twatty fucking Lonely Planet hiking bastard holidays) for several years until I become a regular adult age, I'm doomed to spend the next four or five years of my life - good, solid, nothing-wrong-with-'em-eat-your-tea years - shuffling about trying to avoid people from looking at my evidently fetal face. It isn't my fault I was born in 1988. Blame the baby boom after Black Monday. Not that my parents were in any way affiliated with the banks. Had I been born earlier, things may be different. As it stands I have people to meet and places to do and things to look at, all the while feeling as thought there's a giant birthday badge pinned to my chest, shouting joyfully that I'm ONLY TWENTY TWO! Were I the type more inclined to scrawl miserable metaphors I'd liken the burden to one of those cheery birthday balloons with ribbons on, made of lead instead of plastic foil and helium, dragging me through a ... Oh I don't know. A world made of shit. Or something.

I want to be absolutely clear that I'm not complaining about being young. I like being young. Being young means that I can eat chocolate weetos for my tea and go drinking on a Tuesday, and live entirely off Diet Coke and Marlboro Menthols, should the mood take me. It just becomes a bit grating when meeting people who you would desperately like to be seen as a mature equal - job interviews or making contacts are the two best examples I can think of - and they comment on how youthful you are. "You seemed old enough to drink on the phone!" they joke. "Don't you look young!", "So, are you Nine?", "Are you out on work experience?" are some of my favourites. Yes, but the last laugh is on you, because I will only be thirty when you are in your seventies, and my skin will have extraordinary elasticity well into middle age thanks to my fifty-pence-piece-shaped baby face. Fuck you. You're just jealous that you didn't have a dictaphone and an arrogant sense of self at my age. Either that or you think I'm a vile child demon, who shouldn't be trusted, and should be ignored at all costs. The last one is probably right. After all, I'm pretty much boasting that I'm young and trying my best to steal your job. I should be shot. Or at least publicly humiliated.

For now I'll have to turn up to places looking like a toddler in mummy's old suit, with fisher price recording equipment and coloured gel pens. Aww, look, she finks she can do a wite! At least it's something I'm going to get better at.


Anonymous said...

I have this theory that I'm a middle-aged man trapped in a 22 year olds body. I feel like saying 'Don't let the skinny jeans and poor facial hair fool you, I quite like Lonnie Donegan and boating holidays.'

meh, I should have been born in about 1957

Katie said...

You're 22? I thought you were....never mind ;)

Boating holidays are the shit. As are holidays that involve visiting breweries and cheese factories. Don't worry, we'll be old before you know it.

Anonymous said...

personally i always like how old i am, i know i am stil relatively young, but im not upset about getting older. im definitely gonna go bald, wahey i say, its gonna be great. i know what you mean though, older people do seem to judge younger people just because they are young, they aren't being ageist maliciously, they just don't necessarily understand all this newfangled techno-wabble-dash shit. if i ever feel like i am being judged, then my usual response is to be as open and nice and friendly towards the judger as possible, then what have they got to judge you with? and you never know you might help someone conquer their fear of the "youth of today", and make a new friend to boot.

Katie said...

You being bald is one of my main reasons to keep living until middle age.

Also, yes I could make new friends, but then I'm not as nice as you.

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